Stand Up To Cancer telecast breaks record with $123.6 million in pledges

/ Source: TODAY

Take that, cancer!

The sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast last Friday broke records with more than $123.6 million in pledges.

Matt Damon speaks onstage at the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast at the Barkar Hangar in Santa Monica on Friday.Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

The star-studded fundraiser aired across more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and featured dozens of Hollywood celebs, including Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman and David Spade.

Actress Shannen Doherty, right, and stylist Deborah Waknin speak onstage at the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast.Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Shannen Doherty, who've both shared candid details from their own breast cancer battles with fans, also took part in the event.

Former TODAY host Katie Couric, one of Stand Up To Cancer's founders, swung by the show Friday to discuss the organization's tireless work to raise funds for cancer research.

Funnymen David Spade (L) and Jason Bateman entertained viewers during this year's star-studded telethon.Araya Diaz / Getty Images

"Like so many people, I think cancer has affected me in a deeply personal way," said Couric, who lost both her husband, Jay Monahan, and her sister Emily to the disease.

Former TODAY host Katie Couric lost both her husband and her sister to cancer. Willy Sanjuan / AP

"I just realized I had to do something about this," she said, explaining how she and eight other Hollywood women formed Stand Up To Cancer a decade ago to help raise funds for cancer researchers to be able to come up with better treatments.

Stand Up To Cancer has changed the paradigm for how cancer research is done, Couric explained. The organization insists scientists who receive funding work together in their research.

"We require collaboration instead of competition," Couric said. "We have scientists from institutions all teaming up. They're sharing information and their knowledge and their expertise, and their tissue samples."

"They're focusing on all these different kinds of cancer, whether it's pancreatic or colon or skin cancer or breast cancer," Couric continued. "Or epigenetics, which is a new approach to cancer treatment, or immunotherapy, which is holding so much promise and is being so effective."

"So, we're really turbo-charging cancer research in a very new and fresh way," she added.

The organization's scientists have already contributed to five new FDA-approved cancer treatments, Couric shared. "It's really exciting to see some of our work bearing fruit and really helping people," she said.

Now, thanks to last week's record-breaking telecast pledges, Stand Up To Cancer can continue its groundbreaking work.